The spruce, red, black, and white, differs in many respects from the
balsam-fir: the needles are sharp-pointed, not blunt, and instead of
being flat like the balsam-fir, they are four-sided and cover the
branchlet on all sides, causing it to appear rounded or bushy and not
flat. The spruce-gum sought by many is found in the seams of the bark,
which, unlike the smooth balsam-fir, is scaly and of a brown color.
Early spring is the time to look for spruce-gum. Spruce is a soft wood,
splits readily and is good for the frames and ribs of boats, also for
paddles and oars, and the bark makes a covering for temporary shelters.